Keeping your employees safe
We care about the health of your company, and we want to help you make your workplace as safe and healthy as possible for your employees. That’s why we developed this resource with recommendations and guidance to help your office, factory, warehouse, school, restaurant, or in-field workers work in ways that support their physical and mental well-being.
Our COVID-19 safety webpage provides guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), our clinical team, and other resources you can use to keep everyone knowledgeable about staying healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope you find the guidance helpful.
We encourage frequent and transparent communication with your employees. Many companies are providing new communication channels and have leaders visibly role modelling safe hygiene and other behaviors.
Helping members during the COVID-19 pandemic
We’ve made temporary changes to our plan benefits to help ensure members have the greatest access to care during the pandemic. We also have listed a number of tips and resources they can consider to protect their health, safety, and well-being. Read our tips.
Are workplaces safe for employees?
According to the CDC, there is no definitive test to determine if it’s safe to return to the workplace, but there are steps you can take to keep your workplace as safe as possible. The U.S. Department of Labor offers this "COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan".
Keeping employees safe
Over-the-counter COVID-19 tests
The federal government is now offering free at-home COVID-19 tests. Every household in the U.S. is eligible to receive eight free at-home COVID-19 tests.
Here’s where households can order the free tests.
Additionally, effective January 15, 2022, commercial insurance companies and group health plans (including self-insured employers) are required to cover the costs of up to eight authorized at-home, over-the-counter (OTC) COVID-19 tests for covered members every 30 days. This requirement will apply during the applicable public health emergency (PHE) period.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) communicated this requirement through an FAQ from federal regulators. As described by the federal government, these tests are self-administered and self-read at home or elsewhere without the involvement of a healthcare provider or a lab.
Please note OTC COVID-19 test coverage is not provided for employment purposes.
Covered employees and their dependents can learn more on our COVID-19 info page.
Employer groups can check out this FAQ on OTC COVID-19 tests.
Guidelines for a safe workplace
The single most important thing employees can do to keep the workplace safe is to stay home if they are sick.
We recommend that employers work with legal counsel and Human Resources to determine if you are able to provide employees the ability to work from home if necessary.
- Conducting a workplace risk assessment for potential COVID-19 exposure.
- Preparing a response plan.
- Taking steps to improve ventilation.
- In areas with substantial or high transmission, providing face coverings for all workers, as appropriate, regardless of vaccination status.
Vaccinations for employees
Capital Blue Cross encourages all of our members to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The federal government is covering the cost of the vaccine, and payers (health plans and self-funded groups) must cover the cost of vaccine administration, including the office visit when the vaccine is given. That means Capital Blue Cross’ medical and prescription drug benefits will cover the vaccine administration services with no cost to your employees during the public health emergency.
If members have Capital Blue Cross medical and prescription drug coverage, the administration of the vaccine will be covered according to the type of provider from which they receive the vaccine. If a member gets the vaccine from a doctor or other non-pharmacy healthcare professional, the cost of administration and the office visit will be covered by their medical benefits. If a member gets the vaccine from a pharmacy, it will be covered by their prescription drug benefits.
Check out our vaccine FAQ for members.
Monitoring COVID-19 surges
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania offers an early monitoring dashboard to the public.
This tool can help employers monitor changes in COVID-19 cases on a county level from week to week so that you can determine if policies should be updated.
What to do if an employee voluntarily discloses that they have been diagnosed with COVID-19
For more information, visit the CDC’s quarantine and isolation guidance online.
If an employee, or anyone else in the facility, reports a COVID-19 diagnosis, the CDC recommends the facility be cleaned and disinfected. The CDC offers guidance on cleaning plans and cleaning, disinfecting, and ventilation.
Mental health support for employees
Employees find themselves in stressful times — COVID-19, quarantine, and returning to work all have the potential to induce stress and anxiety. Capital Blue Cross members can call the behavioral health number on their ID card (TTY: 711) for 24/7 support to answer questions about benefits, available services, and finding providers. They can also find more information about their benefits by logging into their secure account.
Capital Blue Cross’ network of providers includes:
- Marriage/family therapists.
- Clinical social workers.
- Alcohol/drug addiction counselors.
If members would prefer not to leave their homes for care, many have access to mental and behavioral health providers through Capital Blue Cross’ VirtualCare app.
With so much happening regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to provide you with guidance about your benefits. If you have general questions about your coverage during the pandemic, please contact your producer or Capital Blue Cross account executive.
The information on this site is intended to provide general guidance in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Capital Blue Cross does not provide medical advice. Please consult your legal and human resources counsel for information specific to your business. Capital Blue Cross does not assume any liability associated with your use of, or reliance on, any of the suggested guidance provided here.